Loading and Saving "AstroBASIC" "Tapes" using MAME Emulation Bally Arcade / Astrocade Video Tutorial By Adam Trionfo April 25, 2019
This tutorial explains how to load and save Bally BASIC programs in the Astrocade emulator in MAME. Specifically "AstroBASIC" programs are loaded on the emulated Bally Arcade/Astrocade console, a game system released in January of 1978. Although the tutorial focuses on how to use MAME on a Windows system, the information in this video can probably be transferred for use by Linux and Macintosh users too.
The steps required to get the MAME emulator up and running with the system ROMs are explained in a previous tutorial called "Setting up Astrocade Emulation Using MAME:"
Setting up and changing the keyboard mapping for use with joysticks is covered there. Use of alternate inputs, such the Knob (paddle) and 24-key keypad are gone over in a cursory manner (these details may be explained in future videos).
The main idea of this video is to get a user loading programs from "tape" (actually WAV files archived on BallyAlley.com) as quickly as possible. Anyone who has only a limited knowledge and prior-use of emulation, or has some knowledge of how to use emulation, but has never used a Bally Arcade/Astrocade console before today will benefit from this short video. After the instructions in the tutorial have been followed, any user of a Windows system that has at least version 0.208 of the MAME emulator setup can load and save software to and from "tape."
Some short examples from the following type-in programs are provided here:
1) THANKS.WAV - A short 2-line BASIC Program that's supposed to say "THANKS, 'JUST DESSERTS!,' but I noticed just before uploading this video that I misspelled DESSERTS as DESSETS. No program runs without an error, right?
In a future installment, I'll show how to set-up keyboard mapping so that the Bally BASIC cartridge can be easily used during emulation. I'll also show how to setup MAME so that ICBM Attack, a game that uses a rare analog joystick called the Spectre controller, can be played using a mouse or trackball.
If this video helps you get started in the Astrocade world, then please share it with others who might enjoy taking a peek into the library of games for this underdog console that was only ever released in America and Canada.
Note: Occasionally during this video, the screen "flashes." This doesn't happen when using the software. This is a side effect of the Open Broadcaster Software that I used to make this recording. Rest assured, when you run MAME and follow these steps your screen will have none of the flashing.